1st Brahmans

The 1st Brahmans was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. It was raised at Oudh by Captain T Naylor in 1776 for service in the army of Nawab Wazir of Oudh, and was known as the Nawab Wazir's Regiment. It was transferred to the East India Company in 1777. In 1922, it was designated as the 4th Battalion 1st Punjab Regiment. The regiment was disbanded in 1931.

1st Brahmans
Active1903 - 22
CountryBritish India
Nickname(s)Neelwar ki Paltan
UniformScarlet; faced white
EngagementsSecond Anglo-Maratha War 1803-05
Anglo-Nepalese War 1814-16
First Anglo-Burmese War 1824-26
Siege of Bhurtpore 1826
First Afghan War 1839
Third Anglo-Burmese War 1885-87
First World War 1914-18
Colonel of
the Regiment
Major General LHP de H Larpent


Over the years the regiment was known by a number of different designations:

  • 1776 Nawab Wazir's Regiment
  • 1777 30th Battalion of Bengal Sepoys
  • 1781 23rd Regiment of Bengal Sepoys
  • 1784 29th Regiment of Bengal Sepoys
  • 1786 29th Bengal Sepoy Battalion
  • 1796 2nd Battalion 9th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
  • 1824 21st Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
  • 1861 1st Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
  • 1885 1st Regiment of Bengal Infantry
  • 1901 1st Brahman Infantry
  • 1903 1st Brahmans
  • 1922 4th Battalion 1st Punjab Regiment


East India Company service

While in the service of the East India Company the regiment was awarded battle honours for service in the Second Maratha War 1803-05, the Anglo-Nepalese War 1814-16, the Second Anglo-Burmese War 1824-26 and the Bhurtpore Campaign 1826.

Post Mutiny

The regiment was the senior-most among the twelve Bengal Native Infantry regiments that survived the Great Indian Rebellion of 1857-58. It was accordingly one of the small number of Bengal regular infantry regiments to retain the traditions of East India Company service in the new post-Mutiny army.[1] Renumbered as the 1st of the Bengal line, it subsequently saw active service in the Third Anglo-Burmese War of 1885-87. Following the Kitchener reforms of the Indian Army, when the names of the presidencies were dropped, the regiment became the 1st Brahman Infantry in 1901.[2]

World War I

In 1914, the regimental centre of the 1st Brahmans was located at Allahabad and it was linked with the 3rd Brahmans. The regiment was recruited from United Provinces Brahmins, Garhwali Brahmins and some Punjabi Mussalmans.[3] Full dress uniform of the sepoys included a high khaki turban with red fringe, a scarlet kurta (long coat) with white facings, white waist-sash, dark blue trousers and white leggings.[2] [4]

The regiment spent part of World War I in India before being posted to Aden, then under threat from Ottoman forces. A second battalion raised in 1917 saw service in the Persian Gulf.

Post-war service and disbandment

After the war, a major reorganization was undertaken in the Indian Army and the various single-battalion infantry regiments were grouped together to form larger regiments of four to six battalions each. The 1st Brahmans became the 4th Battalion of the 1st Punjab Regiment in 1922. It was disbanded in 1931 due to retrenchment in the Indian Army.[2][5][6]

See also


  1. Lt. Gen. Sir George Macmunn, page 106 "The Armies of India", ISBN 0-947554-02-5
  2. Barthorp p.15
  3. Gaylor, John. Sons of John Company. The Indian & Pakistan Armies 1903-1991. p. 130. ISBN 0-946771-98-7.
  4. Schollander, Wendell. Glory of the Empires 1880-1914. p. 339. ISBN 978-0-7524-8634-5.
  5. Qureshi. The First Punjabis.
  6. Sumner, p.15


  • Barthorp, Michael; Burn, Jeffrey (1979). Indian Infantry Regiments 18601914. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 0-85045-307-0.
  • Sumner, Ian (2001). The Indian Army 19141947. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-196-6.
  • Qureshi, Maj MI. (1958). The First Punjabis: History of the First Punjab Regiment, 1759-1956. Aldershot: Gale & Polden.
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